26 January 2024

18 Black Entrepreneurs Who Have Achieved Great Success

By Ronald Smith

Today, I want to introduce you to eighteen extraordinary black entrepreneurs who have made a huge impact in the business world. These remarkable individuals have not only achieved great success but have also inspired many others to follow their dreams.

First up, we have Oprah Winfrey, a media mogul and philanthropist. Oprah’s story is truly inspiring. She started from humble beginnings and worked hard to build her media empire, becoming one of the most influential figures in television.

Next, we have Daymond John, the founder of FUBU and a successful investor on the TV show Shark Tank. Daymond’s entrepreneurial journey is a testament to the power of determination and creativity.

Another remarkable entrepreneur is Madam C.J. Walker. As the first self-made female millionaire in the United States, Madam C.J. Walker paved the way for women of color in the beauty industry.

Moving on, let’s talk about Robert F. Smith, a billionaire philanthropist and the founder of Vista Equity Partners. Robert’s commitment to giving back has made a significant impact on education and social justice.

Now, let me introduce you to the fantastic Tyler Perry. Tyler is not only a successful actor and filmmaker but also a trailblazer in the entertainment industry. Through his creativity and hard work, Tyler has become a household name.

Next, we have Janice Bryant Howroyd, the founder and CEO of the ACT-1 Group, a global staffing agency. Janice’s entrepreneurial spirit and determination have earned her numerous accolades and recognition.

Moving forward, let’s talk about Percy Master P Miller. Master P is not only a successful rapper and actor but also a savvy businessman. He has built a vast empire, spanning music, film, and fashion.

Now, I want to introduce you to Lisa Price, the founder of Carol’s Daughter, a natural hair and skincare brand. Lisa’s passion for creating products that celebrate natural beauty has resonated with people worldwide.

Speaking of beauty, I must mention Rihanna. Yes, the same Rihanna who is a global superstar also launched her own makeup line called Fenty Beauty. Rihanna’s brand has been a game-changer in the beauty industry.

Moving on, we have Dr. Dre, a legendary music producer, and entrepreneur. Dr. Dre’s influence in the music industry is undeniable, and his successful business ventures have cemented his status as a true entrepreneur.

Now, let me tell you about Don Thompson, the former CEO of McDonald’s. Don’s leadership and innovation played a significant role in McDonald’s growth and success during his tenure.

Next, I want to introduce you to Ursula Burns, the first black woman to serve as CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Ursula’s achievements in the business world have broken barriers and inspired many.

Moving forward, we have Sean Combs, better known as Diddy or P. Diddy. Sean is not only a successful music artist but also a shrewd entrepreneur. His ventures in fashion, spirits, and media have made him a force to be reckoned with.

Now, let’s talk about LeBron James. LeBron is not only regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time but also a successful businessman. His business endeavors outside the court have been remarkable.

Another exceptional entrepreneur is Serena Williams. Yes, the same Serena who dominates the tennis court also has her own fashion line called Serena. Serena’s dedication and passion extend beyond the tennis court and into the business world.

Moving on, we have Jay-Z, a music icon and astute businessman. Jay-Z’s influence extends far beyond the music industry. His successful ventures in fashion, sports management, and entertainment have solidified his status as a mogul.

Now, let’s talk about Sheila Johnson. Sheila is a co-founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and an advocate for women’s empowerment. Her contributions to the media industry and philanthropic work are truly commendable.

Lastly, I want to introduce you to Dayna Grayson, a prominent venture capitalist investing in innovative technologies. Dayna’s expertise and support have helped numerous startups flourish and make a lasting impact.

In conclusion, these eighteen black entrepreneurs are not only incredibly successful but also serve as inspiration and role models for aspiring entrepreneurs. Their dedication, determination, and innovation have reshaped industries and opened doors for others to follow their dreams.

18 Black Entrepreneurs Who Have Achieved Great Success

I’ve witnessed some truly incredible journeys of entrepreneurship throughout the years. Many entrepreneurs, who faced failure before finding success, now lead thriving empires with their Black-owned businesses. It’s truly inspiring to see how they’ve risen from humble beginnings to empower the black community. We have countless trailblazers in the Black business community, and their stories are nothing short of astonishing.


The 18 Most Successful Black Entrepreneurs

In this brief overview, I want to highlight just a few of the most successful black entrepreneurs throughout history and recent years. This list is not exhaustive, but it will showcase some incredible business ventures brought to life by black entrepreneurs. It’s also worth mentioning that you can find even more inspiration on entrepreneurship by exploring black entrepreneur quotes.

1. Sean Johnson Combs

Let me tell you about some amazing individuals who have made significant contributions in various industries. First up, we have Sean Johnson Combs, also known as P.Diddy and Puff Daddy. This talented artist has excelled in the entertainment industry and is one of the most successful African Americans out there. Not only has he had a successful music career, but he also founded his own record label called Bad Boy Entertainment. On top of that, Combs is involved in the food and beverage industries too, making him a true multi-talented entrepreneur.

2. Now, let’s talk about Sheila Johnson.

Sheila Johnson, alongside her husband Robert Johnson, co-founded the extraordinary media empire known as the Black Entertainment Television (BET) channel. What makes BET special is that it was the very first TV channel to solely focus on Black entertainment, paving the way for other diverse media platforms. Sheila is not only a media mogul, but she is also the founder of Salamander Hotels Resorts and a venture capital firm. It’s worth mentioning that Sheila Johnson holds the impressive title of being the first African American woman to achieve a net worth of $1 billion. Talk about breaking barriers!

3. Lastly, let me introduce you to the legendary Michael Jordan.

I want to tell you about some amazing entrepreneurs who have made a big impact on the world. One of them is Michael Jordan. You probably know him as a famous basketball player, but did you know that he’s also a really successful business owner? He’s actually the highest paid athlete in the world! Michael has been running businesses since he was young, and one of his most famous ventures is the Air Jordan line of shoes, which are made by the company Nike. He’s also a part owner of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team.

4. Sarah Breedlove

Now let’s talk about Sarah Breedlove, who is also known as Madam C.J. Walker. She’s an incredible entrepreneur, especially because she achieved something no other woman had done before. In fact, she became the first self-made female millionaire in American history! Sarah’s company, called Walker Manufacturing Company, became successful by making beauty and hair products specifically for black women. And guess what? The company is still going strong today!

5. Jay-Z and Beyonce

Did you know that both Jay-Z and Beyonce are powerhouses in the business world? They have achieved incredible success individually and as a couple. Jay-Z, who started as a musician, has expanded his empire to include the Roc Nation label, Roca Wear apparel company, Tidal streaming service, and even his own restaurants. Beyonce, known for her incredible music career, is the mastermind behind the popular gym brand and athleisure line, Ivy Park. Together, their estimated net worth is an astonishing $1.9 billion.

6. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is truly a force to be reckoned with. She is one of the most accomplished women in American history, with a journey that began with her own talk show. From there, she went on to build Harpo Inc., a media empire that encompasses television and publishing. Not only that, but Oprah is also a brand ambassador for other companies, solidifying her influence in the business world.

8. John H. Johnson

Let me tell you about some remarkable individuals who have made their mark on the business world. First up, we have John H. Johnson, the brilliant mind behind Johnson Publishing Company. You may have heard of their famous magazines Ebony and JET.

Number 9 brings us to Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian business magnate. This man is truly something special. He’s not only considered one of the richest Black entrepreneurs, but also one of the wealthiest individuals in the world. Aliko Dangote is the chairman and CEO of the incredible Dangote Group. They do it all – sugar, freight, food processing, cement manufacturing, and more. To put things into perspective, their yearly revenue is an astonishing $14.1 billion!

Now, let’s move on to our next incredible individual, George Foreman, ranked at number 10. You might know him as a legendary boxer, but did you know he’s also a successful entrepreneur? That’s right! George Foreman proves that talent and perseverance go hand in hand. He’s ventured beyond the boxing ring and made a name for himself in the business world.

11. Janice Bryant Howroyd: A Pioneer for Black Women Entrepreneurs

Let me introduce you to Janice Bryant Howroyd. She is an incredible woman who blazed a trail for black women entrepreneurs. Janice started with a small business called ActOne, which was an employment agency. But don’t let its small beginnings fool you – ActOne grew to become a national giant in the industry. And what makes Janice even more extraordinary is that she is the first African American woman to build and own a billion-dollar private company. That is truly remarkable!

12. Tyra Banks: A Multifaceted Talent

You probably know Tyra Banks for her iconic modeling career, but did you know that she has also ventured into many other businesses? She is a true multi-talent! Currently, Tyra is the CEO of her production company called Bankable Productions. This company has been the driving force behind top TV shows like America’s Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show. But that’s not all – Tyra has also released books and even started her own makeup line. Talk about a woman who can do it all!

13. Kenneth Frazier: A Leader in the Business World

I’m here to tell you about some fascinating individuals who have achieved remarkable success. Let’s start with Kenneth Frazier, who holds the impressive title of executive chairman at Merck Co., a prominent pharmaceutical company. Before becoming CEO, Kenneth began his journey at Merck as General Counsel, leading the company’s defense in high-profile legal battles. Although he stepped down from the CEO position in 2021, he continues to serve as executive chairman, ensuring Merck’s continued growth and success.

14. Rihanna

Next, we have the extraordinary Rihanna, a talented musician who has expanded her empire into the world of business. She has ventured into the beauty industry with her multimillion-dollar brand, Fenty Beauty, as well as the lingerie fashion line, Fenty X Savage. While Fenty Beauty was acquired by the luxury beauty giant LVMH, Rihanna remains the CEO of both brands. Her hard work and creativity have paid off tremendously, as her net worth is estimated to be a staggering $1.7 billion.

15. Cathy Hughes

16. Shonda Rhimes

Let me tell you about Shonda Rhimes, a superstar in the TV industry. She’s not just a television producer and screenwriter, but also an incredible author. You’ve probably heard of some of her fantastic shows like Gray’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder. She’s the creative force behind these hit series!

17. Daymond John

Now, I want to introduce you to Daymond John, a remarkable entrepreneur and fashion icon. When he was young, he started a cool clothing brand called FUBU, which stands for For Us By Us. It became a big hit! You might have seen Daymond on the popular TV show Shark Tank, where he’s one of the investors in the group called The Sharks. But Daymond’s not just about making money, he’s also passionate about supporting black businesses and helping them thrive.

18. Chris Gardner

Let me tell you about this incredible person named Chris Gardner. He’s not just a businessman, but also a source of inspiration for many. Chris had a tough start in his career and faced homelessness, but he never gave up. In fact, he went on to become a stockbroker and even started his own company back in 1987. How amazing is that?

And you know what’s even more incredible? Chris wrote a memoir about his life, which later became a movie called The Pursuit of Happyness. In the movie, Chris was played by the talented Will Smith. It’s a story that will touch your heart and remind you that no matter what obstacles we face, we can always push through and achieve our dreams.

Now, let’s talk about another remarkable person – Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah is like a superstar, a name that almost everyone knows. She became famous through her daytime talk show, which has been on for many years. But did you know that she’s not just a talk show host? Oprah is also a successful entrepreneur who runs her own media company called Harpo Inc. She’s a true example of how hard work and determination can lead to incredible success.

Now, let’s take a look at the richest black entrepreneur.

Well, that title goes to a Nigerian businessman named Aliko Dangote. This guy is seriously wealthy, with a net worth of a whopping 14.1 billion USD. He has built his fortune through various businesses and investments. It’s truly inspiring to see someone achieve such incredible financial success.

Lastly, let’s find out about the largest black-owned business in the US.